Crucial AFCON qualifiers for COSAFA nations this weekend

COSAFA nations will resume their bid to qualify for the 2017 African Nations Cup this weekend when the second round of qualification matches is played.

Angola will look to build on their solid start that saw them defeat Central African Republic 4-0 when they travel to Southern African rivals Madagascar on Sunday.

The Malagasy were 2-1 losers in the DR Congo last time out but have seen a resurgence in their football in recent times and will be confident of a positive result.

Botswana and Comoros are still looking for their first points as they enter the weekend.

Botswana are home to Burkina Faso on Saturday and must pick up points if they are to be serious contenders in the pool, while Comoros entertain Uganda.

Both matches in Group E were drawn in the first round making it even stevens in the pool as Zambia travel to Kenya for a tricky away tie on Sunday.

Mozambique and Mauritius were both losers in their opening games in Group J and will look to break their duck when they meet in the island nation on Sunday.

Mozambique will be favourites, but Mauritius have the ability to surprise.

Likewise for Lesotho and Seychelles, who both started their Group J campaigns with a defeat.

Lesotho host Arica’s top-ranked nation Algeria on Sunday in a must-win game for them, while Seychelles entertain Ethiopia.

Namibia have one of their biggest home ties in years when they welcome west African giants Senegal to Windhoek on Saturday.

The COSAFA champions were disappointed 1-0 losers to Niger in their opener, but now have coach Ricardo Mannetti back in charge and will be eyeing an upset.

Group L contains three COSAFA sides, with Swaziland and Zimbabwe winning their first matches and Malawi yet to break their duck.

Zimbabwe host Guinea on Sunday in their next game, while Malawi travel to in-form Swaziland.

Finally, South Africa go into the unknown when they play a first ever international against Mauritania. Bafana Bafana were disappointingly held to a 0-0 draw by minnows Gambia in their opening game and need a win to keep up with pool leaders Cameroon.

Only the top teams in each pool qualify automatically for the finals in Gabon, with the two best second-placed finishers also booking their place in the 2017 showpiece event.